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KNOXVILLE—Living Light, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s state-of-the-art, zero-energy house, has garnered another national accolade, this time for the effectiveness of its graphic design as well as its collaborative efforts with architecture and engineering.

The American Institute of Graphic Artists (AIGA), the professional association of design, introduced a new award category, “Making the Case,” to this year’s design competition.

Living Light was one of nine entries selected from about sixty entries to receive the award. Other winners were design firms of national stature.

The “Making the Case” award is a way to honor case studies that “demonstrate the value of design in a clear, compelling, and accessible way,” according to the institute’s website.

Living Light came in eighth overall in the US Department of Energy’s 2011 Solar Decathlon this fall. The home also captured third in engineering, fifth in architecture, and third in the use of energy-efficient appliances. The UT team also tied for first place in the energy balance contest, the cornerstone area of the competition.

Deborah Shmerler, UT associate professor of art, led the graphic design component of the home in the solar decathlon.

For more information or to learn more about the award, visit

C O N T A C T :

Lola Alapo (865-974-3993,